Watchdog presses FEC for audit on Maxine Waters fundraising practices
California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters is facing a new complaint about an obscure fundraising tactic that rakes in thousands from state politicians in exchange for being listed on her slate mailers — this time, involving supporters of a former Los Angeles mayor defeated in the June gubernatorial primary.
The National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Waters, her campaign and a pro-charter school group called Families and Teachers for Antonio Villaraigosa — which backed the former Democratic mayor of Los Angeles.
The pro-Villaraigosa group paid $25,000 to the Citizens for Waters Committee on May 25 to include Villaraigosa in her slate mailer, according to the complaint. FEC guidelines, however, say only a candidate’s committee can pay for the mailers — sample ballots traditionally mailed out to about 200,000 voters in Los Angeles highlighting whom Waters supports.
Legally, candidates are paying a reimbursement for the slate mailer, rather than buying an endorsement. But it’s difficult to prove whether the Waters endorsement comes as a result of the payment or if already endorsed candidates are paying for their share, Adav Noti, a former FEC assistant general counsel, recently told Fox News while explaining the peculiar process.
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